Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here and here, we look today at Malachi 3: 1-5.
 Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.
 And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fuller’s herb:
 And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.  And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years.
 And I will come to you in judgment, and will be a speedy witness against sorcerers, and adulterers, and false swearers, and them that oppress the hireling in his wages; the widows, and the fatherless: and oppress the stranger, and have not feared me, saith the Lord of hosts. Continue reading
 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.  And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.
Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote about this passage: Continue reading
 And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.  And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness.  And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.  But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: land he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.  And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins. Continue reading
Something for the weekend. We Three Kings Of Orient Are. Continuing on with our Advent look at Messianic prophecies, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here and here we come to Numbers 16-19:
 The hearer of the words of God hath said, who knoweth the doctrine of the Highest, and seeth the visions of the Almighty, who falling hath his eyes opened:  I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth.  And he shall possess Idumea: the inheritance of Seir shall come to their enemies, but Israel shall do manfully.  Out of Jacob shall he come that shall rule, and shall destroy the remains of the city.
Origen, writing in the first half of the third century tied this prophecy of Balaam to the Star of Bethlehem: Continue reading
13I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him.
14And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
Saint Jerome wrote an extensive commentary on the Book of Daniel. Here is his commentary on these verses: Continue reading
Something for the weekend. O’Little Town of Bethlehem sung by Nat King Cole. Continuing on with our advent series of Messianic prophecies, the ealier portions of which may be read here, here and here, we come to Micah 5:2:
And thou Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity.
This prophecy was cited when Herod inquired about where the Messiah would come from: (Matthew 2: 3-6)
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’ Continue reading
Something for the weekend. Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming. Continuing on with our Advent examination of major Messianic prophecies, we come to Isaiah 7: 11-16:
11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
and Isaiah 1-7:
1Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
5For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria commented upon this passage: Continue reading
Continuing with our series during Advent of the major Messianic prophesies of the coming of Christ, we come to Psalm 21 (Psalm 22 in Protestant Bibles):
1 Unto the end, for the morning protection, a psalm for David.
2 O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
3 O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
4 But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
5 In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
6 They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
7 But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
8 All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
9 He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.
10 For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.
11 I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother’s womb thou art my God,
12 Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
13 Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.
14 They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.
15 I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered. My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
16 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws: and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.
Something for the weekend. O Come, O Come Emmanuel. We start Advent tomorrow, and my thoughts have been turning to the many messianic prophecies in the Old Testament that are applicable to Christ. I do not think there is adequate treatment in contemporary catechesis of the remarkable string of prophecies in the Old Testament that find their completion in Christ. All Catholics need to be familiar with these prophecies, for they are an anchor for our Faith. One example is Wisdom 2:12-20: Continue reading